$70M building designed to be urban ‘beacon’


A partial view of downtown Kalamazoo’s skyline, including the landmark Radisson Plaza Hotel at Kalamazoo Center. Photo via wikimedia.org

Construction is scheduled to begin this summer on a $70-million mixed-use building in the region.

Catalyst Development Co. plans to break ground in July on the 290,000-square-foot, seven-story building in downtown Kalamazoo, according to Southwest Michigan First last week.

The building is slated for completion in June 2020.

The project is being built on part of the city-owned Parking Lot 9 on the southwest corner of North Edwards and Water Streets, overlooking Arcadia Creek Festival Place.

The building will include two floors of housing (41,000 square feet), four floors of office space (55,000 square feet) and a multi-level parking deck with 300 plus spaces.

The residential space will include studio and one- and two-bedroom apartments at rates open to a range of incomes.

The development plan is to maximize green space and public areas, with the goal of

stimulating further development downtown. The plan includes snowmelt sidewalks and convenient accessibility.

Office tenants will include The Kalamazoo Promise, The Kalamazoo Promise Institute, Communities In Schools, Warner Norcross & Judd and Southwest Michigan First.

About 200 temporary jobs over 24 months will be created, in addition to permanent building positions. At least 30 new office jobs will be created. The Kalamazoo Promise and The Kalamazoo Promise Institute will grow from two to 20 full-time employees, allowing for a program expansion.

“We are excited about the opportunity to create a unique space with innovative tenants in the central core of downtown Kalamazoo,” said Bill Johnston, owner, Catalyst Development Co.

“Catalyst has been working for over two years to meet the programming needs of these collaborative organizations, while simultaneously searching for design and application strategies that will enhance our downtown business district. The sense of community within the design and space is terrific. Collaboration, connectedness and community are all important elements of what this project brings to this important location.

Kalamazoo Mayor Bobby Hopewell believes the project makes better use of the downtown space.

“This is the type of thoughtful development that we want to continue to see, not just downtown, but throughout the city,” Hopewell said.

Architecture and engineering firm TowerPinkster and construction management company CSM Group are working on the project.

“The overall design will express each of these uses in a contemporary, approachable open design aesthetic,” said Jason Novotny, director of design, said TowerPinkster. “The building aspires to be an icon, a beacon, in the city of Kalamazoo.”

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